Let’s face it, you picked a combat LARP because you wanted to get some aggression out and beat down your friends, or maybe you have the more noble goal of wanting to learn a martial art. Perhaps you just want a bit more exercise, after all you can burn around 500 calories per hour having a great time beating on your friends.
No matter the reason you want to beat your friends, you’re going to need something to beat them with, otherwise you might want to look into joining the MMA.
Where do get those Wonderful Toys?
There are a few great ways to your hands on some wonderful weapons, and there are plenty of ways to do that. Each has their own pros and cons, and you should probably look at them all.
1) Make Your Own
Making your own weapons is always a great option, and probably the go-to option for
NERO - Nero has the most basic weapons of any game I’ve explored. Their weapon construction is pretty simple, and can be found here.
DAGORHIR - Dagorhir is a heavy combat game, and their weapons are built for that. There are some great techniques out there for building their basic weapons. If you go that route, they’ll be useable in most combat games. The weapon construction tutorials on their site will probably do you well for most games. Bonus, you can find an amazing tutorial for Wynar’s Plasti-Dip Weapons on their forums.
Of course the best way to learn to make weapons is to get with the Combat Marshals in the game you play. Sometimes they even offer classes at events.
2) Get them Made by a Fellow Player
I’ll admit, that I’m not the greatest boffer-smith out there. I can make a basic functional weapon, and it’ll pass inspection and do well in combat, but it’s ugly. That’s my short coming, I suppose, and I accept that. I do, however, have some truly talented weapon builders that I fight with, and they can make some weapons that aren’t just functional, they’re works of art.
Just about every group that you’ll fight with will have a person, or people, that have perfected the art of boffersmithing, and they’ll usually be willing to hook you up, sometimes to make a little bit of money, and sometimes in exchange for something you’re good at that they might be lacking in. The world of boffer fighting is a world run on the barter system.
3) Buy them Online
They can be expensive, and there is no real chance for customization with them, but if you can’t make your own, and you can’t find someone to help you out, it is a pretty decent option. There are hundreds of sites out there to buy weapons from, but I personally recommend commissioning something from Wynar. His prices are pretty reasonable and his work is amazing. Of course, you’ll be paying for the work that goes into a custom weapon, so expect to pay $50-$100 for a sword.
For less money, and less customization, you can also go with some of the nicely made weapons over at Forged Foam. Their prices are pretty decent, and they come highly recommended in some of the boffer communities. I have not personally bought weapons from them, so most of my information is second hand.
A Note About Latex Weapons
Most combat heavy games will not let you use a latex weapon. They are designed for more role play based games, and tend to lack in the padding and other features combat games require, such as thrusting tips. That being said, they are about as good looking as you can possibly expect to find, but that price matches the glam.
Now, go get your hands on some foam and start learning how to be a bad ass.